Monday, October 5, 2015

Used Car Review - Honda Odyssey (2012-2015)

Another luxury van gets the spotlight, with Myk Belmonte dealing in the details.

2012-2015 Honda Odyssey

The 90s proved to be a turbulent period for the Japanese, no thanks to the asset price bubble affecting all industries including car manufacturers themselves. It also caused the discontinuation of several novelty cars such as the Toyota Sera and Suzuki Cara and Mazda dropping its Amati luxury brand that was on their pipeline. With Soichiro Honda's death in 1991, Honda found itself being outpaced in product development by its compatriots and was caught off-guard by the booming SUV market and was itself at a risk of being in a takeover of Mitsubishi, whose Pajeros and Diamantes being bought made them profitable. If there is one product which had saved Honda from that takeover, it would be the Odyssey.

Although the original Odyssey was lower and didn't have any sliding doors, a model split between North American and other countries made two versions for two different markets. Japan and other non-western countries get a different model which is only available with a 2.4 engine while the other side of the globe gains a more larger unit that has a V6. The fourth generation North America market Odyssey was first launched in June 2010 as a 2011 model that saw the usage of high strength steel and got a lot of new options.

Honda Cars Philippines used to bring in the first generation Odyssey in limited numbers back in 1997. The nameplate was revived 15 years later with the fourth generation model being launched as a rival to the very successful Alphard and another American contender, the Town and Country. Unlike the original, it used a 3.5 V6 and was priced at P2.8M apiece. The facelifted model never arrived but rather, the fifth generation international model replaced it with a lower price entry.

Value and Costs
USDM Odysseys in the used car market can be purchased at P1,900,000, but only a few are being sold. With the new model being available for a few months, expect owners to trade theirs sooner than later.

Just like any high end vehicle, there is a possibility that electrical components like the power tailgate and sliding doors and the sunroof breaking down, so take a look carefully and inspect before signing the deal. Fuel consumption isn't outstanding, especially if you are used with diesels. Engine components are similar with the Accord and Pilot, which is a good thing.

Exterior and Interior
Minivans had a stigma that mostly mothers would love it, but Honda made efforts to avoid the generic styling which makes it more pleasing to look at. When it comes to size, it is longer and wider than its main rival but height is lower though.

Unlike other competitors who pitch in the middle captain's chairs,.eight people can join in the fun, which is a good thing for a family oriented market like the Philippines. The third row can fold flat for those who need more space for your stuff. Other than that, it gets as feature loaded as you wish which includes: a triple zone automatic climate control, a sun roof, sunshades, and the ability to close the sliding doors and the tailgate through the key or a button inside.

Typical of US market vehicles, the Odyssey utilizes a J35A 3.5 V6 gasoline with 247hp at 5,700rpm and 343Nm at 4,800rpm with Honda's Variable Cylinder Management as standard. Acceleration is decent enough but the VCM's magic works when cruising at highway speeds in which up to three cylinders shut down that helps lower fuel consumption.

Driving Impressions
Lets deal with being the passenger, this van is as comfortable as it gets and maintains its posture, despite the road imperfections that afflict the metropolis. If you are the driver, let us say this is one fine drive since it has Honda genes in it. Maneuvering is a piece of cake, thanks to a standard back-up camera with sensors.

With Honda asking their people on what they want in a car (rather than their engineers building a car and forcing people to like it), the Odyssey was born and saved them from that takeover. Generations later and with rivals coming out, this van still holds a candle. Moral lesson: it does not hurt to ask your customers and if you build them right, they will come.

The Good:
  • Drives like a car
  • Luxurious interior
  • Can seat eight people
The Bad:
  • That fuel consumption
  • Only a few in the used car market
  • Good luck when those electronic gadgets fail
The Pick: 3.5 EX-L

Engine: 3,471cc J35A V6 gasoline
Power: 247hp @ 5,700rpm
Torque: 343Nm @ 4,800rpm
Fuel Consumption: 4-6km/L (city), 9-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automaric
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi-link double wishbone

Price (New): P2,800,000
Price (Now): P1,900,000
Rivals: Chrysler Town and Country, Toyota Alphard, Toyota Previa
On Sale: 2012-2015

Honda Cars Pasig - (02) 988-1288

No comments:

Post a Comment